Hormones are chemical messengers that are secreted by endocrine glands directly into the blood, which carries them to organs and tissues of the body to exert their functions.
Some of the major endocrine glands in the body include:
Pituitary gland, Pineal gland, Thymus, Thyroid, Adrenal glands, Pancreas, Testes, and Ovaries. Cortisol, estrogen, insulin, adrenaline, testosterone, etc. are a few of the hormones that flow through our body every day. Hormones are crucial to different aspects of bodily functions and processes. Some of these include Development and growth, sleep, Metabolism, Sexual function and reproductive growth and health, Cognitive function and mood, Maintenance of body temperature and thirst.
Hormonal imbalance occurs when there is too much or too little of a hormone in the blood. Hormones play an essential role in our body and even small hormonal imbalances can cause various side effects in our body. Hormonal imbalances can occur when endocrine glands are not functioning properly. Certain lifestyle habits, environmental factors or severe medical conditions may also play a role in hormonal imbalances.
Women are at a higher risk of hormonal imbalance than men because they have different endocrine organs and cycles. Symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women include heavy, irregular, or painful periods, osteoporosis (weak, brittle bones), hot flashes and night sweats,vaginal dryness, constipation and diarrhea,acne during or just before menstruation, uterine bleeding not associated with menstruation, increased hair growth on the face, neck, chest, or back, infertility, weight gain
thinning hair or hair loss, clitoral enlargement, etc.
Natural ways to balance your hormones
What you eat regulates many aspects of body functioning, including the hormones. When it comes to hormonal imbalance we usually don’t think to turn to food as a remedy. However, certain foods can help balance out your hormones, and including these foods in your diet can help level out your body and improve your overall health without having to take any medication. A healthy diet and other healthy lifestyle behaviors may help your hormonal health.
. Eat enough protein
Include poultry, fatty fish and soy proteins in your diet. Dietary protein provides essential amino acids that your body can’t make on its own. Protein must be consumed every day in order to maintain muscle, bone and skin health. In addition, protein influences the release of hormones that control appetite. Experts recommend consuming a minimum of 20-30 grams of protein per meal.
. Leafy greens
Certain veggies like spinach, kale, beet greens etc. are a good source of iron. Also, these are filled with so many antioxidants. Leafy greens help prevent inflammation and lower level of stress.
Nuts like almonds and walnuts assist in lowering the cholesterol level. They also help in lowering insulin and maintain blood sugar levels. These also have anti-inflammatory properties.
. Vitamin B
A lack of vitamin B in the body can contribute to feelings of depression. Consume foods high in vit. B such as whole grains and lean meat.
. Engage in regular exercise
Physical activity can strongly influence hormonal health. It has a positive effect on hormones like insulin and testosterone. Engage in regular physical activity.
. Sleep well
No matter how good your diet is, your health will suffer if you don’t get enough sleep. The brain needs an uninterrupted sleep of 7-8 hours to perform well. So ladies, sleep well.
. Consume a high-fiber diet
Fiber, especially the soluble type, has the strongest effects on appetite. Include foods like avocado and apples in your diet on a daily basis. A high-fiber diet also protects against over eating.
. Avoid overeating and under eating
Eating within your personal calorie range can help you maintain hormonal balance and a healthy weight. Eating too much or too little may result in hormonal problems and has a negative impact on weight.
. Avoid these foods
Stay away from sugar, caffeinated beverages, alcohol, high fat, and spicy foods to keep your hormones dancing happily. These contain trans fats and refined carbs. Avoiding these will help to avoid various health problems like obesity, diabetes, skin problems, etc.
Your hormones are involved in every aspect of your health. You need them in very specific amounts for your body to function optimally. Despite the fact that aging and other factors are beyond your control, there are many steps you can take to help your hormones function optimally.
Consuming nutritious foods, exercising on a regular basis and engaging in other healthy behaviors can go a long way towards improving your hormonal health.
P.S. Disclaimer: this article is for informational purposes only and does not substitute or replace medical advice.